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Italian school; 17th century.

Auction Lot 35312577
Italian school; 17th century.
“Saint Anthony of Padua with the Virgin and Child".
Gilded bronze.
Provenance: Important Spanish private collection.
Measurements: 19 (diameter).

Estimated Value : 9,000 - 10,000 €

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Italian school of the 17th century.
"Saint Anthony of Padua with the Virgin and Child".
Gilded bronze.
Provenance: Important Spanish private collection.
Measurements: 19 (diameter).
Small gilded bronze tondo representing Saint Anthony of Padua kneeling before the Virgin and Child. Due to the dimensions of the piece, it is likely that it was conceived for private devotion. It is worked using the 'schiacciato' technique, a system of modelling in sculptural relief used by the Romans and perfected in the 15th century by Donatello, which consists of proportionally reducing the size of the relief according to the depth to be represented. This sculptural technique makes it possible to create a bas-relief with a minimal variation (sometimes referred to in millimetres) with respect to the background. In order to give the viewer the illusion of depth, the gradual decrease in the depth of the thickness is complemented by the rigorous application of the laws of perspective, which enhances the visual effect.
Saint Anthony of Padua is, after Saint Francis of Assisi, the most popular of the Franciscan saints. He is depicted as a beardless young man with a broad monastic tonsure, dressed in the brown habit of the Franciscans. One of his most frequent attributes is the book, which identifies him as a holy writer. Another distinctive iconographic feature is the branch of lily, an element borrowed from his panegyrist Bernardine of Siena. Saint Anthony is often depicted with the Infant Jesus, alluding to an apparition he had in his cell. It became the most popular attribute of this saint from the 16th century onwards, being especially popular in the Baroque art of the Counter-Reformation. He was born in Lisbon in 1195 and only spent the last two years of his life in Padua. After studying at the convent of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, he entered the Order of Friars Minor in 1220, where he changed his Christian name from Fernando to Antonio. After teaching theology in Bologna, he travelled through southern and central France, preaching in Arles, Montpellier, Puy, Limoges and Bourges. In 1227 he took part in the general chapter at Assisi. In 1230 he was involved in the transfer of the remains of St Francis. He preached in Padua and died there at the age of 36 in 1231. He was canonised only a year after his death, in 1232. Until the end of the 15th century, the cult of St. Anthony remained located in Padua. From the following century onwards, he became, at first, the national saint of the Portuguese, who placed the churches they built abroad under his patronage, and then a universal saint.


Procedencia: Importante colección privada española.


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